Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2019/Programme/Submissions/Wikipedia in Strongly Polarised Societies. New Challenges

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Title of the submission
Type of submission (lecture, panel, workshop, lightning talk, roundtable, poster)
  • lecture with discussion
Author(s) of the submission

Tomasz Raburski


Tomasz Raburski


Wikimedia Poland

  • Community Engagement, Media Outreach
Abstract (up to 100 words)

The growing polarisation of political scene (the division into two, strongly antagonistic camps) is a growing concern in many societies. Because the conflicts between those two camps seems to spill over to all social areas, they also pose a challenge to Wikipedia communities.

The presentation will be based on the case of the conflict concerning the judicial reform in Poland (2015-now) and how this conflict affected Wikipedia community. One of the biggest problems is the politization of every aspect of public sphere and its colonization by party-politics. In consequence, Wikipedia is not seen as a common ground, where editors with diversified political views may meet, but as an instrument belonging to "us" or "them". All actions and edits are seen as backed by political interests. Thus, there is a growing problem of "partisan new editors" - editors who start editing to change the political balance of community, or to "take over" some articles. This biased and simplified image of Wikipedia is presented in partisan media, exacerbating the crisis.

How will this session be beneficial for the communities in the region of Central and Eastern Europe?

The polarization of political takes place in many countries of Europe. We need to recognize the challenges it brings and adapt to a changing social and political environment.

Special requirements


Slides or further information

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